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Governor McDonnell says ‘women in combat’ won’t divide Republicans

Posted at 6:29 AM, Feb 13, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-23 14:59:34-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell appeared on CNN’s AM Newsroom Monday morning to talk about women in combat.

Last week the governor appeared to take aim at Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum who questioned whether women should be on the front lines.

“I do have concerns about women in front line combat,” Santorum said Thursday during an interview with CNN. “I think that could be a very compromising situation where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved.”

The next day at a speaking engagement, Governor McDonnell made a point to talk about his daughter, who led an Army platoon in Iraq, just before Santorum took the stage to speak.

“I like Rick Santorum a lot,” Governor McDonnell told CNN this morning. “I just disagree with any inference that he might have made that somehow women are incapable of serving in the front lines.”

Governor McDonnell said he has not spoken to his daughter a lot about the candidate’s comments.

He added the issue was not one he believed would divide the Republican party.

“This election is about leadership, it’s about jobs and it’s about spending,” the governor said. “Sen. Santorum and all the other candidates are far better than President Obama on that.”

Governor McDonnell has endorsed Santorum’s opponent Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.